OTHERS

Kerala did not support plea for CMs' meet: Krishna

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 29. The Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. S. M. Krishna, has said that the Chief Ministers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu did not support the plea for a Chief Ministers' conference to discuss the impact of globalisation and liberalisation on the farm sector.

Mr. Krishna told a news conference here today that the demand was raised by him and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, at the last National Development Council (NDC) meeting. Neither the Kerala Chief Minister nor his Tamil Nadu counterpart opened their mouths in support of the demand, he said.

Mr. Krishna said a Chief Ministers' meet has been convened for May 21. The crisis in the farm sector was the most compelling and burning issue, particularly in the southern States. The crisis had hit almost all sectors in Karnataka except sericulture and cardamom. It was a complex situation and there could be no readymade solutions, he added.

The Karnataka Chief Minister wanted to know why the United Front Governments led by Mr. H. D. Deve Gowda and Mr. I. K. Gujral did nothing to rectify the wrongs they accuse the Narasimha Rao Government had done. He felt that isolationism was not the answer for the difficulties being experienced by the farmers.

Asked whether States by themselves could do anything to mitigate the difficulties of the farming community, he said his Government had set up a Rs. 200-crore fund with matching grants from the Centre to operate a support price system.

He said his State had an export turnover of Rs. 7,200 crores in the IT sector last year and was targeting a turnover of Rs. 11,300 crores next year.

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